Personal Development

Are you carrying an elephant?

Is this person capable of creative thinking, problem solving, strategic intervention, planning? I’d bet that the only thing on his mind, other than the tusks, is ‘put one foot in front of the other’. Imagine the effort of will, the crushing weight, the laboured breathing, the mild panic when the load shifts.

We all know not to carry elephants. The idea is preposterous. But we DO carry guilt, fear, loneliness, worry, shame, frustration and disappointment. Our emotional baggage is just as heavy and has a similar effect on our ability to think clearly, make good choices and see solutions.

If it is so ridiculous to carry an elephant, why do we carry emotional elephants? Perhaps we don’t know better, perhaps we don’t know how to put the load down without getting crushed and maybe, just maybe, we are completely oblivious to the fact that we are carrying something around that is weighing us down!

Ask yourself these questions:-

  • Do I connect easily with people?
  • Do I experience ‘happiness’ regularly, laugh often and smile daily?
  • Do I feel that things are ‘under control’?
  • Do I try new things, enjoy learning and challenging myself?

If you answered ‘YES’ to all of these questions – congratulations!! You are probably not carrying an elephant. Can you spot someone close to you that might not be as fortunate?

If you answered ‘NO’ to some or all of these questions, it is likely that you are carrying an elephant. Don’t be hard on yourself (no need to add more weight!), it is more common than you would believe! The good news is that you don’t have to keep carrying it. Just imagine what it will be like to put down that 5 ton load. Explore your emotional elephant… and let it go.

Emotional elephants are part of what makes us human but we really don’t need to carry them around.